Ester Bianchi holds a Ph.D. in ‘Indian and East-Asian Civilization’ from the University of Venice (co-tutorial Ph.D. received from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Section des Sciences Religieuses of Paris).
She is currently Associate Professor of Chinese Religions and Philosophy and of Society and Culture of China, and Coordinator of the Double Degree in “World Religions and Philosophy” and in “Cultural Heritage, Religion and Society” (with the Department of Religious Studies of Fu-Jen University, Taipei) of the Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Education (Fissuf) of the University of Perugia. She is also Quality Assurance Office – Fissuf Departmental Referent and member of the Board of the Deputy’s Rector for internationalization and international cooperation at University of Perugia. She is member of the research groups “Culture, Languages, Practices (CLIPRA) at the Philosophy Department of the University of Perugia (Italy), and “Modern and Contemporary Buddhist Encounters in the Southern Sinosphere” at the Institute for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism (ISHB) of the University of the West, is external associated researcher of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités CNRS-EPHE (2012-), Research fellow of the Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (since 2016), and a contributor of the Research project “Chinese Buddhism in Globalization: States, Communities, and Practices of Religion” (directed by Yoshiko Ashiwa and David Wank, Founded by the Henry Luce Foundation; 2020-). Her studies focus on the religions of China, particularly on Buddhism; her research is centered on Sino-Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist monasticism, the revival of Buddhist monastic discipline and, more recently, the rediscovery of early meditation techniques and the spread of Theravāda Buddhist Model in modern Chinese Buddhism.
Ester Bianchi is the author of The Iron Statue Monastery, Tiexiangsi: A Buddhist Nunnery of Tibetan Tradition in Contemporary China (Firenze, Olschki, 2001), of a general book on the history, practices and cultural traditions of Daoism (Milano: Electa 2009), and of the first Italian translation of the Gaoseng Faxian zhuan (Faxian: un pellegrino cinese nell’India del V secolo, Perugia: Morlacchi 2013). Her co-edited volumes include: Facets of the Tibetan Religious Tradition and Contacts with Neighbouring Cultural Areas, co-edited with A. Cadonna (Firenze: Olschki 2002), Sino-Tibetan Buddhism Across the Ages, co-edited with Shen W. (Leiden: Brill 2021), and “Take the Vinaya as Your Master”: Monastic Discipline and Practices in Modern Chinese Buddhism, co-edited with D. Campo (Leiden: Brill 2023).